You Can Play and US Lacrosse, the national governing body of men’s and women’s lacrosse, have announced a partnership that makes US Lacrosse the first to encourage LGBT inclusion across an entire sport.
“US Lacrosse is honored to partner with You Can Play and is dedicated to supporting a clear message of inclusion, equality, respect and safety for all athletes regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Melissa Coyne, director of games administration at US Lacrosse. “We are committed to ensuring that all lacrosse participants are given a fair opportunity to compete and are celebrated for their athletic achievements on the field.”
Initial platforms for collaboration between the two organizations will include the availability of You Can Play resources on the US Lacrosse web site, uslacrosse.org, and on-site visibility for the You Can Play project at selected US Lacrosse events. US Lacrosse will also utilize its regional chapters’ network to provide further support for You Can Play messaging.
“US Lacrosse is showing a real promise to its athletes, their families and fans by recognizing the talents of LGBT athletes and by building straight allies – all of whom love the sport of lacrosse,” said You Can Play co-founder Brian Kitts. “US Lacrosse’s stance as a national governing body ensures fairness across the entire sport from youth players to the national teams.”
“US Lacrosse is committed to creating a safe sport culture and seeks to foster a lacrosse community that encourages understanding, appreciation and acceptance of all within its membership, volunteer base, and staff. US Lacrosse believes that broad representation and participation add significant value to the lacrosse experience of all, and that these valued experiences are enhanced by embracing underrepresented and underserved communities. “It is essential that the national governing bodies of sport not only support a message of inclusion and equality but that they take real actions and steps to provide a safe and healthy environment for all athletes,” Coyne said.
Major League Lacrosse, the sport’s professional outdoor league, and You Can Play announced a similar partnership last month.
“The commitment of both US Lacrosse and Major League Lacrosse ensures that one of the fastest growing sports in North America also will be one of the most committed to inclusion and fairness,” Kitts said.